After days of uncertainty surrounding the remainder of the 2020 high school basketball season, the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association announced Thursday its decision to cancel the state playoffs in the face of growing concerns around Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in New Jersey.
“We have been making our decisions one day at a time, taking into account the best available guidance from the state health department and the CDC,” the NJSIAA said in a statement. “Now, given the rapidly changing circumstances and uncertainties facing our member schools, our student-athletes, our host facilities, and many others, we no longer see a viable path to the completion of the Group championships on Saturday and Sunday.”
The NJSIAA’s decision comes merely hours after it laid out a path for remaining teams to play group championships this weekend at neutral site locations without fans in attendance. Gov. Phil Murphy announced this afternoon a plan to cancel all public gathering of more than 250 people, which included sporting events.
Numerous public schools still suited up Thursday evening to play state semifinal games, while other opted out of the playoffs. For example, Manasquan cancelled its highly-anticipated game against Camden in the Group 2 boys semifinals just hours before tip, while teams like Ramapo and Warren Hills still played in the Group 3 girls semifinals.
“We understand that our decision will disappoint many, but believe it to be in the best interest of our student-athletes and all those involved with the games,” the statement said.
Wednesday and Thursday were monumental days on the national sports stage after the NBA and MLS suspended their seasons, the NCAA cancelled all winter and spring championships and the MLB pushed its start date back two weeks.
Although the high school basketball season is now officially over, Jersey Sports Zone will keep you updated on the remainder of the 2020 scholastic athletic calendar. We’ll also be rolling out All-Zone team and Mr. and Ms. Hoop Zone Player of the Year finalists in the coming weeks.